Farm Memories – Part Two

Many people don’t think much of sheep, but we loved our woolies. We brought home three Romney ewes; Liesel, Marta and Gretel. They quickly made themselves at home, calling to us whenever we emerged from the house, demanding love and affection and food. Especially food. Like everything else we have ever had, they were spoiled rotten. But oh, they were so much fun to have around.

Not long after we brought the girls home, we added Gouda to the mix. He was a big, handsome Dorset ram. The Romneys were a good dual-purpose breed, Gouda was good for meat, and together they made some pretty spectacular little lambs. And lambing season was the most exciting time of our farming year.

The sheep were to be our main focus. Not only were they gentle, small and easy to handle, but they fit into the back of our minivan, which was a requirement for everything we brought home. Well, everything except the horse…

Cherished Memories

I received a comment on my old farm blog today. When I went to read it, I couldn’t help but cruise around the site. It had been many, many months since I had visited.

The last time I was there, I was in a much different place. Looking through all the old pictures broke my heart. The change of plans. The broken dreams. The things that didn’t quite turn out the way we envisioned. 

The last time I was there, I saw Gretel’s eyes and begged her to come back to us. Begged for her forgiveness for giving her away. Hoped she was still the happy girl I remembered.

The last time I was there, I saw my husband tilling  up our garden. The garden that is now an overgrown weed field. The garden that we had such big plans for. I saw the orchard. The berry patch. Both of which are long dead now.

The last time I was there, I saw so much potential. All lost. Abandoned.  

Every time I thought about it, my heart broke. Over and over again.

So I didn’t go back. I kept the farm in the back of my mind always, but I couldn’t bear to see it. To be reminded of it time and time again.

But tonight. Tonight I went back. Tonight I told Gouda that I still miss him. Still love him. Always will. I saw my old chickens and laughed at how funny they were. I remembered all the beautiful sunsets from the farm.  

Tonight I looked back on the farm with different eyes. I looked back on it with the fondest of memories. I looked back on it with a thankful heart, grateful for the opportunity. 

Tonight I realized that we bought the farm for a reason. And we left it for a reason.

All the choices we have made, both good and bad, have brought us to where we are today. And while I miss the farm, there are no doubts in my mind that we are exactly where we need to be at this moment in time. Leaving the farm taught us a lot about ourselves. About buried dreams. New directions. Endless possibilities.    

I love hobby farming. Have my entire life. Someday, we will return. I know this. But not yet. We have things to do first. Places to go. Adventures to embark upon. Dreams to chase.     

So tonight, and for all the nights to follow, I am looking back on the farm with great appreciation. For the lessons learned. The memories. The opportunities. The life. The courage. The love. 

I cherish it all.

Farewell

Things rarely turn out the way we plan. Sometimes they turn out better, sometimes worse, but almost always different.

After months of stress, frustration and heartache, the time has come to let you go. I know your new family will love you as much as we did because this has been a long process for everyone involved, and yet they never walked away, never gave up, never backed out. They, too, must see your potential, as we did five short years ago.

But life happens, and we made a decision that took us away from you, away from our budding farm, and we had no choice but to sell you. In today’s market, that is easier said than done.

We didn’t intend for things to turn out this way, but I think you know that. I think you know how much we loved and appreciated you. But as much as we enjoyed you, we were still restless. There was still a piece of our puzzle missing, and it is hard to settle down completely when you are seeking… something.

Now we find ourselves each going a new direction. You have a new family to take care of. New kids to protect, new memories to make. We have a new path to follow as well. And while things didn’t exactly turn out the way we had planned, they did, in fact, turn out. Thank you for showing us how just how precious a lifestyle hobby farming is. We will return to it, just not quite yet. We have a few things to do first. But someday…

In a few short hours, we will sign the papers to sell you, and in a few days you will officially belong to someone else. This will be good for both of us. You don’t deserve to be vacant, abandoned. You are meant to be filled with love and laughter, and soon you will have that again. And for us, we will be able to exhale, knowing that you are in good hands, knowing that the process has come to an end, knowing that life will once again return to your walls.

We will look back on you with great fondness in the years to come, but for now, Thank you. For all the memories. For everything. For always.

Can't help but look back...